Press release: Get hands on and learn a new skill in a day

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation encourages you to have a Microgap.

For those who would like to learn a new creative hands-on skill in a short period of time, and even create something to be proud of, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, in West Sussex offers a vast array of one-day courses. They are perfect for those who are time poor or simply need to switch off from everyday life to try something new. For those with more time, there are 800 short courses a year ranging from a day to a week or more!  

Over the next six months, there are 44 one-day courses from making your own leather belt to learning to crochet or basketmaking, through to drawing, jewellery, blacksmithing, throwing pots and gardening!

As Alison Baxter, Head of School of Art at West Dean College commented: “We are aware how popular Microgapping has become and these courses are the perfect way to begin to learn a new skill in a short time. The courses at West Dean are a great opportunity to spend a day, or longer, if time allows to get into the flow of a new creative experience, and who knows it could be the start of a new hobby, or even a new career!”

One student commented: “The best course I have ever attended - challenging, supportive, well-structured and presented by a world class tutor. I have never learned so much in such as short space of time.”

Courses include:

Wednesday, March 25 - Silver earrings with dynamic movement – Suitable for all (£148)

Saturday, March 28 - Terrarium, kokedama – house plant styling workshop – Beginners/ Intermediate (£158)

Thursday, April 16 – Making Glass Beads – Beginners (£158)

Saturday, May 2 – Create your own topiary – Beginners/ Intermediate (£163)

Tuesday, May 19 – Make your own leather belt – Beginners (£151)

Friday, June 5 – Pottery & Ceramics - Throwing Pots – Beginners – (£142)

Saturday, June 6 – Blacksmithing - Beginners (£149)

Sunday, June 7 – Growing vegetables from scratch – Beginners (£128)

Thursday, June 18 – Learn to crochet – beginners (£133)

Saturday, July 4 – Photography – Portraits in Natural Light - Suitable for All (£143)

Saturday, July 4 - Charcoal Drawing – Beginners (£135)

Saturday, August 29 – Writing your Family History – Beginners (£128)

Monday, September 7 – Woodturning – make a small bowl – Beginners (£150)

Thursday, September 10 – Willow Basketmaking – Beginners (£134)

Tuesday, September 15 – Silver Jewellery – Beginners (£148)

Friday, September 18 – Watercolour Painting – Beginners (£136)

For the full list of courses and details visit

Bookings can be made online or by calling +44 (0)1243 818300. Gift vouchers of £10, £25, £50 or £100 can be used as full or part payment towards a short course.

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Editor's notes

  • West Dean College of Arts and Conservation was founded in 1971 by the poet and Surrealist patron, Edward James, recognised by BBC Arts as the ‘the greatest patron of art of the early 20th century’.
  • The College is part of The Edward James Foundation (Charity No. 1126084), also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and West Dean Tapestry Studio.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

    For all media enquiries please contact Rachel Aked:
    Telephone: 07790 732448

    West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ


Terrarium, kokedama – house plant styling workshop with Jen Berry
Creative workshops
Metalworking short courses
Make a leather belt with Jeremy and Carla Bonner
Jewellery for beginners with Laila Smith
Drawing with charcoal with Kate Boucher
Learn to Crochet with Katy Bevan
Making silver jewellery with Laila Smith
One day jewellery workshop with Sarah Macrae
Making glass beads with Sarah Downton
Willow basketmaking with Mary Butcher
Woodturning with Dave Regester
Throwing pots with Louisa Taylor